There has been a lot of interest in RStudio’s instructor training and certification program since it was announced in February. People are now going through the training course and the subsequent exams, so we’d like to share a bit more information about them.

What’s the big picture?

In order to be certified, candidates must do a one-day training course on modern evidence-based teaching techniques, write a 90-minute exam on that material, and complete a technical exam on each of the topics they are certifying for. Right now we are offering separate certifications for the tidyverse and for Shiny; we plan to expand the list this fall. The course and each exam costs US$500, and a small number of waivers are available to ensure that people who might find this a barrier are able to take part.

Once someone has been certified, we will add them to our website and recommend them to anyone looking for training in R, RStudio products, and related topics. Certified instructors will also have an opportunity to help shape the future development of the certification program. You can tell us you’re interested by filling in this form; we will then let you know about upcoming training courses.

What is the relationship with the Carpentries’ instructor training?

Our instructor training program draws inspiration and material from the one developed by the Carpentries (the umbrella organization that includes Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry). In recognition of this, anyone who is a certified Carpentries instructor and has taught at least one R workshop for them does not need to take RStudio’s instructor training course. However, we still require people to complete the teaching and technical exams.

What does the teaching exam cover?

The slides for the teaching exam are available online under a Creative Commons license, and this free online book has more material for those who want a deeper dive. The instructions for the teaching exam are given below.

Overall Instructions

Thank you again for your interest in certifying as an RStudio Instructor. This examination tests your knowledge of teaching.

  1. You must complete this exam within 90 minutes. Please take a moment to read over the entire exam, and then share your screen with your examiner and think aloud as you work through the questions.
  2. You may use any digital resources you want during this examination, but may not communicate with any person other than your examiner, and may not share information with other people about the content of this examination. Failure to abide by this rule will result in immediate disqualification.
  3. You may present your sample lesson at the start of the examination or at the end; please let the examiner know which you prefer when the examination starts.

Instructions for Sample Lesson

Prepare a 15-minute lesson on a topic related to R, RStudio products, or data science, and submit it to the examiner at least two days before your scheduled examination. Your submission should include (but is not restricted to):

  1. a learner persona characterizing the audience for the lesson;
  2. a concept map showing the mental model you intend to convey;
  3. two formative assessments (such as multiple choice questions or Parsons Problems); and
  4. any notebooks or slides you would use to support delivery of the lesson.

You will have 20 minutes during the examination to deliver the lesson and its formative assessments. Live coding is strongly encouraged; if you make any mistakes (deliberate or otherwise), try to incorporate them into your teaching as you would in front of a class. You will be able to present your lesson at the start or the end of the exam as you prefer; please let the examiner know your choice when the exam starts.

Note that your examiner will attempt one of your formative assessments during the lesson. Please allow 3–5 minutes for this in your planning.

What does the tidyverse exam cover?

The short answer is, “Everything in R for Data Science.” The full instructions are given below.

Thank you again for your interest in certifying as an RStudio Instructor. This examination tests your knowledge of the material in R for Data Science and your ability to explain it. You must complete the exam within 90 minutes. Please take a moment to read over the entire exam, and then share your screen with your examiner and think aloud as you work through the questions. 1. You may use any digital resources you want during this examination, but you may not communicate with any person other than your examiner. Failure to abide by this rule will result in immediate disqualification. 2. You are required to use the RStudio IDE for the practical portions of this exam. You may use either the desktop edition or rstudio.cloud. 3. Narrate your work as you go along. When you make mistakes or go down blind alleys, diagnose and correct problems out loud as you would in front of a class.

What does the Shiny exam cover?

We are still developing and testing the technical exam for Shiny, and hope to have it ready by June.

I have questions…

If you have questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you: please email Greg Wilson.